What’s in a name? The best breakfast places in Denver may call them biscuits, but what about the rest of the world?
Biscuits have long been a staple at the best breakfast places in Denver, and just about anywhere else in the country. Sure, the simple, fluffy biscuit is enjoyed at other meals as well, but they have traditionally held a special place on the breakfast table. So, what’s the story on this humble but tasty piece of bread?
The history of the biscuit goes back to old France, like many modern culinary delights. It was a flat cake that was baked twice, which is how it got its name. The original name, bescuit, is rooted in Latin with bis meaning “twice” and coquere/coctus, meaning “cooked or to cook.” The first baking was in a pan and then the bread was removed and baked again until hard and dry. This allowed them to last for a long time, a requirement since they were standard fare for sailors and soldiers.
How did we get from there to the tender, flaky biscuit we know and love today? Well, it’s really just a matter of geography. To Europeans and other cultures around the world, both historically and still today, biscuit is the name given to hard, dry cookies and crackers. When continental Europeans started to emigrate to the colonies, they found that what they called biscuits were called cookies here. And the small, soft leavened breads that were a staple of southern plantation kitchens were known as biscuits. And today in North America we still call them that, where they remain a favorite at the best breakfast places in Denver, like The Original Pancake House.